Archive for August, 2010

Patrick Yandall – The Window

One of the most creative guitarists is Patrick Yandall. I observe his solo career since That Feels Nice (1994), followed by A Lasting Embrace (1997), Of Two Cities (2000), Back To The Groove (2001), From The Ashes (2003), Eyes Of Mars (2005), Samoa Soul (2006), Laws Of Groovity (2008), A New Day (2009) and this year The Window. Besides his smooth jazz projects he also released albums in the Blues genre like New York Blues (2007) and One Hour Blues (2010) as well as in the Hard Rock realm with Going For One (2010).

As my heart beats for smooth jazz I concentrate on his album The Window, coming September 2010 on Innervision Records & Entertainment. All songs were written, produced and performed by Patrick Yandall. This album is a one-man-show.

“In the 90s, the genre that evolved into smooth jazz was known as contemporary jazz, and that designation allowed for more improvisation and real jazz fusion energy even as the songs were driven by melody and groove,” says Yandall, who began playing guitar at age 11 after hearing greats like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana.

“All these years later, I still have that contemporary jazz bug in me, and love doing extended soloing, like Carton and Ritenour always have done even on their pop-oriented projects. I think I’ve grown as a composer and my songs have become deeper and more interesting and intricate over time.”

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Esperanza Spalding – Chamber Music Society

It doesn’t get much sweeter than this. Soft, elegant strings and the sweet, angelic voice of Esperanza Spalding. Such is the artist’s charming adaptation of “Little Fly,” the poem by William Blake. The tranquil, soothing piece opens the adventurous, eclectic Chamber Music Society, Spalding’s second release on Heads Up International.

Born in 1984 in Portland, Oregon, Spalding grew up in a multi-lingual household. She took an interest in music after seeing cellist Yo Yo Ma on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. After teaching herself to play violin, she landed a spot in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. Years later, after formal training at Berklee College of Music, she caught the ear of renowned bassist Stanley Clarke. Since then, she has earned rave reviews and made numerous television appearances, including the 10th annual BET Music Awards program. Late night talk show host David Letterman has referred to Spalding as “the coolest guest” he’s ever had.

It’s hard to say that a second recording is wholly representative. However, Chamber Music Society tells a lot about Spalding. It’s a melting pot of sound from a charming, young artist who isn’t afraid to cross genres or challenge preconceived boundaries. While Spalding plays acoustic bass and provides the voice, she is accompanied for the most part by Leo Genovese on piano, Rhodes and melodica; Terri Lyne Carrington on drums; Quintino Cinalli on percussion; Entcho Todorov on violin; and Lois Martin on viola.

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Artur Bayramgalin – Electric Breezz

Hailing from Ufa, Russia, multi-instrumentalist Artur Bayramgalin is the new name in the smooth jazz scene. At the age of 22, Artur made a name for himself on the Russian music scene performing with many of top artists like Fidan Gafarov, Aidar Galimov, Fadis Ganeev, Radik Dinahmetov, and Azamat Gafarov.

Last year he recorded his debut album Interro Island in the Breezz Studio, Ufa and fostered his music in all jazz-networks and communities. A rave review about this album is to find at www.smooth-jazz.de. His sophomore album is entitled Electric Breezz and just released.  Artur categorizes his new album: “Funk, Nu Jazz, Smooth Jazz and Fusion are the unique flavors that mix into the upbeat and catchy tunes. ”

All tunes are composed, arranged and performed by Artur Bayramgalin. The album is available at Amazon, iTunes and CDBaby.

Various Artists – Jazz Infusion Session 1

US Smooth Jazz is an American smooth jazz website supporting artists of this genre and their music. That way musicians have the great opportunity to publish their music at no charge for three months and become known by the audience.

Jazz Infusion Session 1 is the first US smooth jazz compilation available at CDBaby presenting a selection of some of the currently portrayed artists. The album can also be downloaded at iTunes.

Hailing from London UK keyboard player, producer, arranger, composer James Colah is on the start of his smooth jazz career. All signs are on green, that we can listen to his first solo album in the not too distant future. His contribution is entitled Better Days, which we interpret as a realistic wish. Multi-instrumentalist Colah delivers the perfect flow with his appealing guitar and the awesome piano line.

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Ken Ford – Right Now

Ken Ford received training from various members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He moved on to join the African American Philharmonic Orchestra where he was soon promoted to Concert Master. While with the AAPO, Ken was chosen to perform with the late Barry White & The Love Unlimited Orchestra.

Added to Ken Ford’s impressive list of significant accomplishments is the successful debut of Ford’s chart-topping debut CD, Burnt Toast. The sweet, soulful and funky sounds spread on Ford’s Burnt Toast clearly capture his undying passion for playing the electric jazz violin. Furthermore, his ability to incorporate his smooth and sensual moves, which are often displayed during his live performances emanates from every track on his debut CD. Prior to Ford’s release of Burnt Toast he continued to develop a very strong and loyal following who awaited the release of his debut CD. Nevertheless, Ford’s desire to keep the Toast in the oven a little longer than most had hoped was the best decision he could have made. As a result, the final product was served to mere perfection and ready to satisfy the musical appetite of those hungering for a taste of Burnt Toast.

On the heels of Ford’s incredibly successful release of Burnt Toast came the opportunity for Ford to share the stage with Hidden Beach recording artist and saxophonist Mike Phillips as his special guest performer during the opening of Jill Scott’s Words & Sounds 2001 Summer Concert at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

Ken Ford’s desire to consistently produce and deliver quality music to the masses remains apparent. In August 2003 Ford released his sophomore CD entitled Chevelle Lane. This work of musical art captures the essence of Ken Ford’s musical genius as an accomplished Electronic Jazz Violinist. This CD was truly a labor of love for Ford as he poured his mind, body and soul into Chevelle Lane. He not only proudly claims performing artist credits on his latest CD, but he also displays his talent as an executive producer.

Despite Ford’s undeniable success, he remains “TRUE” to himself and understands that his talent is a mere blessing and because of that he continues to be thankful and knows there is still room to grow in his craft as Ken Ford, Electric Jazz Violinist.

Infected by the Hidden Beach Recordings’ style Ken Ford makes the impossible possible. Electrifying, exciting and live energy all bundled into one CD! Jazz, Hip Hop, and R&B Violin with a touch of Class!! Not your traditional violinist by all means! A Must Listen!

Check it out at CDBaby.

Eugen Botos Project feat. Finally – My Space

Finally and guests is a project of young passionate musicians, who were brought up on jazz, jazz funk and smooth jazz music (to include Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea…)

The genre of their music could be characterized as a harder style of Chick Corea’s Electric Band or Mark King’s Level 42 influenced by smooth jazz, hip hop, modern jazz, funk and ethno.

Finally and Eric Marienthal had a series of performances in Japan and peaked at Bratislava Jazz Days (one of the top jazz festivals in Europe), where they performed with great success with Eric Marienthal. They started cooperating on stage in 2008, Finally has become Eric’s band for European concerts. These performances moved them forward to finishing their CD called My Space, at least 2 songs (Manhattan, My Space) are often played in American and Japanese smooth jazz/jazz radios. This formation – Finally and Eric Marienthal is going to be further presented in Europe.

The members of the group were brought up in traditional musical families; each of them has a university degree in music. They are multi-instrumentalists and passionate performers of classical music as well. They are European top artists in their genre. Finally and their music can be definitely seen as a new fresh and innovating energy in the jazz genre.

My Space is now available at CDBaby.

Marc Antoine – My Classical Way

When you hear the name of a known artist, you associate a special style or music with this musician. Classical Soul (1994), Urban Gypsy (1995), Madrid (1998), Universal Language (2000), Cruisin’ (2001), The Very Best of Marc Antoine (2002), Mediterraneo (2003), Modern Times (2005), Hi-Lo Split (2007), and Foreignexchange (2009) are indices for Marc’s Gypsy and Latin influenced contemporary jazz.

Some of these albums were produced by Rick Braun, Philippe Saisse, David Ferrero and others. With his growing skills he is now producing his albums himself and also starts in new directions. With his new album My Classical Way Marc leaves the contemporary jazz style and creates his music on classical themes.

Marc performs on his new album all instruments, except keyboards by Philippe Saisse on Dreamer and Rodrigo’s Concierto, vocals by Jasmine Roy on Carmen B and Rebeca Vega on Dreamer. The fantastic cover of the album was painted by Muramasa Kudo and designed by Javier Garcia, who also taught Marc the secrets of Protools.

First pick of Marc’s selection is Carmen B. George Bizet composed the opera Carmen in 1875. Carmen was one of Carlos Saura’s movie trilogy popularizing the Flamenco. Marc interprets the widely popular theme with a Brazilian Samba rhythm.

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